The Bank of Japan (8301) raised its assessment of all its regions for the first time since July 2012, citing a pickup in the global economy and resilient domestic demand, after unveiling unprecedented easing measures earlier this month.
The central bank became more upbeat about all nine regions, it said today in the quarterly Sakura Report, the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Beige Book. The report groups the nation’s 47 prefectures into nine geographic regions.
The upgrades highlight Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s confidence in the world’s third-largest economy as household and company sentiment improve on a weakening yen and rising stocks and profits. The BOJ may raise its inflation outlook later this month, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News last week.
“Japan’s economy has stopped weakening and has shown signs of improvement,” Kuroda said today at his first branch managers’ meeting in Tokyo, according to the central bank. The BOJ’s easing “will lead Japan’s economy to overcome deflation.”
Kuroda aims to achieve 2 percent inflation in two years. The bank will review its forecasts for prices and economic growth at a meeting on April 26.
The yen has fallen about 12 percent against the dollar this year. It rose today after a report showed Chinese growth unexpectedly slowed in the first quarter, fueling demand for haven assets. The Japanese currency added 0.5 percent to 97.91 as of 3:03 p.m. in Tokyo after earlier touching 97.55, the strongest since April 4.
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